Assignments

2,623 volunteers have helped analyze over
21,968 pieces of information across
137 different projects. You can help out by reading below.

Have a lot of documents to go through? Assignments make it easy to split up the work, either privately with people you invite or by asking the public to help out. Learn more in this video and then create an assignment yourself. (Professional or Organization account required).

Governments in Crisis: state and local responses to COVID-19

Launched by Katlyn Alapati
Katlyn Alo helped

We are logging state and local government measures taken in response to the spread of the coronavirus strain that causes the disease COVID-19. Part of this collection will be storing files — primarily, PDF declarations of a state of emergency and other executive orders. This MuckRock Assignment is intended to break those documents down into the measures they contain. The aim of this project is to better understand how states and local governments are responding to this public health crisis.

Read the Contributor’s guide before submitting to this assignment and record your work in the Document log.

Each submission to this assignment should be a single measure. A government directive, such as a governor’s executive order, may contain many measures.

We intend to write these measures into a catalogue of government efforts to deal with the spread of coronavirus and lessen its impact. We hope this resource will help people compare what measures are and are not being taken in their communities and better understand the realm of possible government action in response to a health crisis like this one. The files will be stored in a DocumentCloud Beta project with the same title: Governments in Crisis: state a local responses to COVID-19.

Predictive algorithms, big data analytics, and "smart technologies" deployed by governments in the U.S.

Launched by Beryl Lipton

A growing database of known uses by local and federal U.S. agencies of automated decision making and related technologies, including related policies, caselaw, and research groups.

A feature of Algorithmic Control: Automated Decisionmaking in America’s Cities brought to you by MuckRock and the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law (RIIPL).

Some examples of technologies and policies:

  • Facial recognition technology

  • Location-based transportation planning tools

  • Predictive policing

  • Risk assessment tools used in judicial proceedings

  • Housing and homelessness service tools

  • Social service algorithmic decision systems

  • Algorithmic decision systems in government assistance or protection

  • Educational service delivery tools

  • Algorithmic impact assessments

  • Bans on automated decision making systems

  • Procurement policies

  • Oversight measures and standards

See something wrong or outdated in one of our entries? Let us know.

Police Surveillance: Facial Recognition Use in Your Backyard

Launched by
Harry Duty, James W Ryan, Patrick Aaron Baron and 47 others helped

MuckRock and Open the Government and MuckRock are using FOIA to send public records requests about facial recognition technology to hundreds of police agencies across the country. Hundreds of other agencies, however, remain unaudited. If you would like to know more about the use of facial recognition technology in your community, this guide will provide resources on how to start.

Find our guide on how to file your own FOI request here.

Help MuckRock understand the extent of the rape kit backlog

Launched by Vanessa Nason
Linh Hoang My Nguyen, Kohl Harrington, Rachel Heimann and 2 others helped

Thousands upon thousands of sexual assault evidence collection kits have gone untested and the crimes perpetrated unpunished. MuckRock is starting a crowdsourced effort to understand the extent of the problem in cities and towns across the country. Help the cause by simply inputting your local town, county, or law enforcement agency in the form below.